If you are in the market for quality outerwear, sooner or later you will stumble upon North Face and Canada Goose products.
North Face and Canada are renowned for making stylish but functional jackets that can withstand rough conditions. Moreover, both brands are immensely popular among outdoor enthusiasts as well as fashionistas.
But much of their outerwear comes with a steep price tag. To ensure you will buy the brand that best suits your needs, check out this North Face vs Canada Goose comparison.
Table of Contents
- 1 The North Face
- 2 Materials and Manufacturing
- 3 Price and Value
- 4 Canada Goose
- 5 Best Canada Goose Jackets
- 6 Best North Face Jackets
- 7 McMurdo Parka III
- 8 So, Which Brand Is Better?
The North Face
Over 60 years ago, two hiking enthusiasts decided to follow their passion and open an outdoor gear store. Just a couple of years after that, the due started manufacturing its own technical clothing and equipment.
The brand gained more attention when it began sponsoring mountaineering expeditions in the late 60s. Since functional and high-quality hiking and climbing gear was a rarity at the time, this move made the brand very popular among avid outdoor athletes.
In the 70s and 80s, the North Face continued to rise in popularity among hikers and backpackers from all walks of life.
The North Face never intended to become a fashion brand. But, in the 90s, hip-hop artists and their fans came to appreciate the styling of the brand’s outerwear.
Today, more people wear North Face as a fashion statement rather than as a piece of technical wear. Of course, North Face outerwear can still be seen on ski slopes, trails, and mountain peaks.
However, some of the brand’s more outdoorsy fans are complaining that the North Face is focusing too much on urban fashion.
Compared to Canada Goose, North Face offers an even wider range of products. From backpacks to tents, you can go on a multi-day outdoor adventure carrying nothing but North Face outerwear and equipment, (recon vs Borealis).
Materials and Manufacturing
North Face is one of the more eco-conscious outdoor brands on the market. In recent years, the brand has been making great strides at reducing its environmental impact. New North Face jackets use recycled nylon and polyester. They also use PFC-free DWR (durable water repellent) coatings. PFC is a chemical that is harmful to the environment.
Moreover, the brand states that it sources cotton and down ethically and sustainably. Every North Face down coat carries the RDS (responsible down standard) label.
In fact, the North Face is one of the organizations that created the standard. The RDS certification ensures that the down comes from fowl that has been humanely treated.
The company’s store that sells refurbished apparel, the North Face Renewed, is another testament to its commitment to sustainability.
Like many other high-end outdoor brands, North Face has also created its own synthetic insulation, ThermoBall, in partnership with PrimaLoft. PrimaLoft makes some of the best synthetic alternatives to down, and ThermoBall is undoubtedly one of them.
Read also: Nano Puff vs ThermoBall
ThermoBall synthetic insulation does a good job of mimicking down. But, unlike down, it doesn’t lose its abilities when it gets wet.
This is just one of many proprietary fabric technologies from North Face. Another notable example is DryVent—a weatherproof and breathable membrane that is an alternative to Gore-Tex.
Most of the company’s manufacturing facilities are in Asia and South America, but there are also a few of them in the US. The North Face “Made in the USA” collection is made entirely in the United States.
It’s important to note that the brand has had serious problems with counterfeit products, so you need to be extra vigilant when buying North Face products.
Price and Value
Many shoppers think that North Face is an expensive brand. For instance, North Face winter jackets cost between $200 and $500.
Most of the brand’s jackets, tents, and backpacking sleeping bags offer great performance and durability, so its prices are mostly reasonable. But there’s no denying that some of the brand’s products sacrifice functionality for fashion.
To ensure every customer will get even more than their money’s worth, North Face offers a limited lifetime warranty on most of its products. The brand also repairs damage stemming from normal wear and tear for a nominal price.
Canada Goose started in 1975 in Toronto. In its early years, only Canadian police, rangers, and Arctic researchers wore its jackets.
Then, the brand became popular among outdoor adventurers and working-class individuals living in extremely cold parts of Canada. Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to climb Mount Everest, wore custom-made Canada Goose outerwear on her expedition.
Back in the day, most people loved Canada Goose jackets because of their exceptional craftsmanship and great functionality. They didn’t care much for its looks.
The brand only became a fashion symbol in the past decade. In the 2010s, famous athletes, actors, and rappers started wearing Canada Goose jackets. The company itself encouraged them to do so by sponsoring film festivals and movie productions.
The Game of Thrones crew was seen wearing Canada goose parkas, and the brand’s apparel even appeared in movies such as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Manchester by the Sea.”
Despite the fact that, now, many people are buying Canada Goose jackets just because of the cool factor, the brand maintains that it’s still all about functionality and quality.
Considering that the Canadian Goose Expedition parka is still one of the most popular jackets among scientists in Antarctica, even though it has become one of the most expensive parkas, it’s hard to argue against this.
Parkas remain the brand’s popular products, but the company also sells rain jackets, hoodies, knitwear, backpacks, and other accessories.
Materials and Manufacturing
Canada Goose doesn’t make compromises when it comes to craftsmanship and materials. It is renowned for its use of the highest quality fabrics. The company also stands out because of its meticulous manufacturing and testing processes.
The fact that Canada Goose still makes almost everything in its homeland speaks volumes about its commitment to high-quality standards. The company only manufactures knitwear and accessories abroad, in Italy and Romania.
In the 70s, the company invented the first volume-based down filling machine. This elevated the whole industry to a completely new level.
The name of the company comes from goose down. Goose down used to be the main signature of the brand. However, most of the new Canada Goose winter jackets use duck down.
The brand states that it sources down ethically and responsibly. All of Canada Goose down products are RDS-certified.
High-quality coyote fur is another signature feature of Canada Goose flagship jackets. Natural coyote fur is very soft, resilient, warm, and stylish. It also doesn’t freeze in extremely cold conditions.
While the company claims it sources coyote fur ethically, it has been under fire for alleged mistreatment of animals. In an effort to increase sustainability, Canada Goose has vowed to start using only reclaimed fur in its products as of 2022.
Most of the brand’s products feature polyester and nylon shells and linings. Canada Goose has also developed a few impressive fabric technologies.
These include Arctic-Tech, Dura-Force, and the Feather-Light US. Such innovative solutions greatly help increase the water-resistance, durability, and breathability of Canada Goose outerwear.
Like the North Face, Canada Goose has dealt with its fair share of counterfeiting issues. If you are considering going with Canada Goose, be sure to buy its products from a verified retailer.
Price and Value
Compared to North Face, Canada Goose falls into a much higher category of expensive. The brand’s flagship parkas come with a price tag of $1000 and higher. Even though it has become a luxurious fashion item, Canada Goose claims that functionality and quality are still its priorities.
The fact that the brand has refused to chase higher profit margins and consider cheap labor to meet the ever-increasing demand for its jackets in the fashion world justifies the high prices—at least partially.
Canada Goose backs its outerwear with a limited lifetime warranty. Like North Face, they are willing to repair wear and tear for a reasonable charge.
Even though it is one of the most expensive options out there, it’s important to note that many Canada Goose outdoorsy customers consider it to be a “buy-it-for-life” brand.
Best Canada Goose Jackets
- Style: Parka
- Outer fabric: Arctic-Tech (85% polyester/15% cotton blend)
- Inner fabric: 100% nylon
- Insulation: Duck down
- Fill rating: 625
One could say the Langford is a lighter alternative to the brand’s most iconic down jackets—the Expedition parka and the Snow Mantra.
It isn’t as thick as the Expedition jacket, and it doesn’t have an 800-fill power rating like most extreme weather jackets, but it does provide a great level of warmth.
This winter jacket managed to get a -15°F temperature rating simply by using a good amount of down. And yet, it won’t make you look like you’re the Michelin Man when you are wearing it.
Like most newer Canada Goose Jackets, this one also has a durable and water-resistant Arctic-Tech shell. Even though this warm jacket is best used in cold and dry winter conditions, you can count on the DWR coating to bead off rainfall until you find shelter.
Even though this Canada Goose jacket is all about utility, it’s a perfect example of why the brand has become a fashion symbol. The styling of the jacket is minimalist, yet it stands out. It hits the sweet spot between urban and backcountry use.
On top of looking great, the coyote fur ruff is super soft. If you get too warm, you can easily remove it.
Like a proper winter jacket, this Canada Goose Parka is packed with more than enough extra features. The elasticized cuffs seal out the cold quite well and the fleece-lined handwarmer pockets are very cozy. Everything on the jacket is really easy to access.
The brand only sells a version of the jacket for men. However, the Lorette women’s parka is pretty similar to the Langford.
- Great for extremely cold winters
- Super comfortable
- The hood and the ruff are easy to adjust
- Exceptional level of craftsmanship
- Steep price tag
- Style: Bomber
- Outer fabric: Arctic-Tech (85% polyester/15% cotton blend)
- Inner fabric: 100% nylon
- Insulation: Duck down
- Fill rating: 625
Rated for temperatures as low as -4°F, the Chilliwack jacket will keep you warm in most winter conditions. Thanks to the bomber cut and flexible fit, the Chilliwack is an excellent jacket for around-town use as well as backcountry adventures.
The Chilliwack jacket offers decent protection against rain. It is also more breathable than the average winter jacket. At the same time, you can count on the durable Arctic-Tech shell to protect you from the wind.
The lining is quite smooth, and so is the coyote fur trim around the hood. The silhouette of the jacket is flattering. If you want to wear the Chilliwack to a job interview, you can rest assured that you will look the part.
However, if you place a lot of importance on styling, you’ll probably be much better off with a Mackage or Moncler bomber jacket. These two brands are in the same price range, but many fashionistas consider them to be more fashionable than Canada Goose.
Like most Canada Goose jackets, the Chilliwack has all the bells and whistles you may need on a cold winter day. You can easily adjust the hood by using the drawcords on the sides, and there are plenty of warm pockets both on the inside and outside of the jacket.
The women’s version of the Chilliwack jacket is almost identical to the version for men.
- Provides an excellent level of warmth
- Allows for a greater range of motion
- Style: Lightweight hardshell
- Weight: 1 lb
- Fabric: 86% polyester/14% spandex
Canada Goose’s lightweight jackets are not well-known like it’s plush expedition-worthy coats, but they undoubtedly deserve more attention. If you are looking for a stylish but storm-worthy technical jacket that will keep you dry, do know that the Canyon is one of the best options on the market.
Even though it bites heavily into the wallet, it offers good value in terms of functionality. This fully-seam sealed hardshell does an impressive job of protecting mid and base layers from the elements.
On top of being fully weatherproof, this Canada Goose jacket is really breathable. All of the pockets are mesh-lined. This allows you to easily get rid of the excess warmth.
On its own, the Canyon won’t keep you warm when it gets really cold. But it’s roomy fit allows you to easily layer up underneath. The soft chin guard and cuffs are a really nice touch. However, the Velcro tabs are difficult to adjust.
- Decent level of breathability
- Plenty of extra features
- Allows you to layer comfortably
- The cuffs are difficult to adjust
Best North Face Jackets
Gotham III Parka
If you like the Chilliwack but would like to get a more affordable winter coat, the Gotham III parka may be the best option for you. This winter coat offers a good combination of style and function. It’s one of the best jackets in its price range.
While it doesn’t perform better than Canada Goose’s higher-end parkas, it will give you more than a bang for your buck. And, as you would expect from a North Face jacket with such a cool name, the Gotham has a really flattering look.
Unlike the Chilliwack, the shell of the Gotham III is completely waterproof. The parka is fully seam-sealed and features a high-quality DWR coating. There’s no doubt that it performs better than the Chilliwack in wet conditions.
While the fill power of the down isn’t that impressive, it is important to remember that goose down is a better insulator than duck down.
Even though the parka doesn’t have a long cut, the snug hem and cuffs do a good job of sealing the cold out when you are moving around. However, the parka may not be long enough to keep you warm when you are sitting.
The Gotham III is a heavily featured parka. The Napoleon pocket will keep your electronics dry and the handwarmer pockets are really comfy. The faux fur trim isn’t as warm as coyote fur, but it is still a nice touch. It is also removable.
The brand only makes a version of the jacket for men. If you would like to get a women’s version of the jacket, the Gotham II women’s parka comes pretty close.
- Really comfortable
- Provides a decent level of warmth
- The cut may be too short
McMurdo Parka III
While it costs just a fraction of the price of an average Canada Goose parka, the McMurdo III is by no means an entry-level parka. If you would like to stay warm in temperatures as low as -13°F, the McMurdo III is one of the best jackets you can get.
You will have a hard time finding a better insulator in this price category. However, the jacket does sacrifice some level of comfort and mobility in order to offer such excellent warmth.
Thanks to the DryVent outer fabric, the McMurdo offers solid protection from rain as well. The McMurdo III parka is a bit bulky, but it is stylish nevertheless. The removable faux fur trim looks quite nice, even though it isn’t the real deal.
The jacket has a good number of extra features, but the integrated neck gaiter is particularly noteworthy.
- Exceptionally warm
- Integrated neck gaiter
- Eight pockets
- Style: Lightweight rain jacket
- Weight: 11.6 oz
- Fabric: DryVent (ripstop nylon/polyester blend)
For an entry-level jacket, Venture 2 offers an impressive level of weather protection. Thanks to its 2.5-L proprietary DryVent fabric, the Venture 2 manages to outperform some higher-end Gore-Tex jackets.
You can wear it in rainy weather for weeks on end—the jacket’s DWR coating will hold up well. In order to offer such impressive protection from the elements, the jacket sacrifices breathability.
Still, it offers a greater level of breathability and comfort than the older version. Moreover, the Venture 2 includes pit zips. They will help you cool down if you get too hot.
The zipper pulls are easy to use and the comfortable micro-fleece patch on the chin is quite a nice feature. The hood offers above-average peripheral vision and solid storm protection at the same time. It is also adjustable.
- Good mobility
- Includes pit zips
- The level of breathability could be better
So, Which Brand Is Better?
While both brands sell high-quality gear, Canada Goose has taken winter wear to a completely new level. Not only has Canada Goose revolutionized the whole down jacket category, but its consistency in craftsmanship still remains unparalleled.
If you want to buy a highly-functional winter coat that you will be able to wear for a really long time, you can’t go wrong with any of Canada Goose jackets. If you take good care of a Canada Goose jacket, it won’t show wear and tear even after years of use.
If you are an eco-conscious shopper, do know that the North Face jackets are more sustainable. The brand’s ever-increasing use of recycled fabrics and ethically sourced materials in its jackets is truly commendable.
The North Face may also be a better option if you want a jacket that performs well, looks stylish but doesn’t cost too much. When it comes to warmer winters, Canada Goose jackets are generally overkilled.
If you are looking for brands like North Face or Canada Goose, or if you would want to find something that’ falls into an “in-between” category, you may want to check out the best Arc’Teryx jackets or Fjällräven.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.